Lip Discoloration: Causes And How To Treat It

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Lip Discoloration: Causes And How To Treat It

Lips play an important role and their discoloration can be a cause of concern for many affecting their self-esteem and overall well-being.

Lip Discoloration: Causes And How To Treat It

Image Source: Dinodia

In our daily lives, we often overlook the significance of our lips. In addition to playing a vital role in protecting our delicate oral tissues, lips are also essential for communication and expressing emotions. However, over time our lips can lose their natural colour and become discoloured. The sight can be unsettling, and questions like what caused this discoloration can race through the mind. Here are the causes of lip discoloration and the effective treatments to restore the natural beauty of your lips.

Causes of Lip Discoloration

Lip discoloration is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors,ranging from lifestyle choices to underlying medical conditions. In certain cases, lip discoloration may be a sign of a more serious problem, such as cancer. Here are some of the most common causes of lip discolouration:

Sun Exposure - Harmful UV rays from the sun can wreak havoc on our lips, leading to discoloration. Prolonged exposure to the sun without adequate protection can result in darkening or hyperpigmentation of the lips.

Cyanosis - It is a condition characterised by a bluish discoloration of the skin and lips. It can occur due to inadequate oxygen levels in the blood or impaired circulation. When the oxygen saturation levels in the blood drop below 85%, cyanosis can occur

Smoking - Smoking in addition to posing severe risks to our overall health also causes lip discoloration. Smoking  cigarettes can stain the lips and contribute to a dull appearance.

Hemochromatosis - Excessive iron accumulation in the body can lead to the development of hemochromatosis. One of the symptoms associated with hemochromatosis is skin hyperpigmentation, which can manifest as discoloration of the lips.

Dehydration - Dehydration can impact the health of our lips. Insufficient moisture in the body may lead to dry, cracked, and discoloured lips.

Iron Deficiency - Anaemia or iron deficiency in the body can lead to pale or bluish lips. The lack of iron affects the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, leading to a change in lip colour.

Hyperpigmentation Disorders - Conditions like melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can cause dark patches on the lips. These disorders are often a result of hormonal changes or inflammation.

Treating Lip Discoloration

Now that you have a better understanding of what causes the lip discolouration, here are some effective treatments to restore the natural colour and beauty of your lips:

Sun Protection - It is important to shield your lips from the sun's harmful rays. Use lip balms or lipsticks with SPF protection, and reapply regularly. For additional protection wear a wide-brimmed hat or seek shade during peak sun hours.

Quit Smoking - It can improve your overall health and also reverse lip discoloration. For this, consult with a healthcare professional or join support groups to kick the habit for good.

Hydration - Keep your body well-hydrated for healthy and colourful lips. Drinking an adequate amount of water daily and using a hydrating lip balm can prevent dryness and discoloration.

Iron Supplementation - If iron deficiency is the cause of your lip discoloration, consult with your healthcare provider who may recommend iron supplements or dietary changes to improve your iron levels and restore lip colour.

Topical Treatments - There are various over-the-counter creams and ointments containing ingredients like hydroquinone, kojic acid, or retinoids that are effective in reducing lip hyperpigmentation. However, it is important to consult a dermatologist before using any topical treatments.

Medical Treatments - Medical or surgical interventions can be employed to address lip discoloration in certain cases. Laser therapy, for instance, is an option that can effectively eliminate sun-damaged skin and enhance the overall appearance of discoloured lips.

Various other medical treatments are available for addressing lip discoloration. These include:

  • Chemical peels
  • Light therapy
  • Liquid nitrogen spray
  • Medicated ointments like 5-fluorouracil and Solaraze.


Lip discoloration is a common condition that can affect people of all ages. It is important to see a doctor if you notice any changes in the appearance of your lips, especially if the discoloration is accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain, swelling, or bleeding. With early diagnosis and treatment, most cases of lip discoloration can be successfully managed.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.